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'Make available offline' is not working - XP Pro / Serv 2003 environment,

I have set up a 2003 server with DHCP, DNS and DSF and do on with a few user accounts and a few computer accounts logging into the domain. I use on account on two machines - a desktop and a laptop and I have created a share with a 1Gb quota (the share is mapped on a desktop and a laptop (XP Pro)).

I have enabled Offline files on the laptop and have copied some files to the share - the problem is that when i try to make the drive available offline literally nothing happens.

I have looked at the policy settings on the server for offline files and think that I have those set up ok.

I am fairly new to the 2003 environment so it's quite possible that I am missing something - does anyone have any ideas?
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prickly
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prickly
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
It can be a permissions error. They are little peculiar with this feature. Can you make the user a domain admin for a few minutes to test that theory. If it works we can then isolate the permissions.
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
I logged onto the laptop as the domain admin and mapped the drive. When I tried to make the whole drive available offline the offline files wizard ran but no synchronization occurred. When I tried making individual folders available offline nothing happened at all.
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tcmruhlandCommented:
On the server, Right click on the share and look at the Properties.  On the Sharing tab click the Caching button and ensure that "Only the files and programs that users users specify will be available offline" is selected.

You may want to check out these links to see if you covered all the steps.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307853/en-us
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/900701/en-us

This could apply if you're using roaming profiles, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/842007/en-us
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Is this just offline files and not using folder re-direction ? Sounds like that, which is OK.
On the server:
-The folder/drive on the server needs to be shared
-The folder/drive should have full control for everyone under share permissions
-The folder/drive should have full read and right permissions  (basically need all but full control) for the offline files user under Security permissions
-the system and administrators accounts should have full control under security permissions
-make sure under caching "files or programs from the share will not be available offline" is NOT checked

On the workstation:
-on the menu bar of My Computer, choose tools, folder options, offline files, make sure "enable offline files" is enabled

Try adding the file to the folder on the server and see if it becomes available to synchronize.
When a folder is made offline there should be a two little blue arrows added to the folder icon in the top left corner.

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pricklyAuthor Commented:
tcmruhland - Some great links that - I have already done the following from the links that you posted before I asked my question:-

Configuring your computer to use Offline Files
To configure your computer to use the Offline Files feature: 1.      Click Start, and then click My Computer.
2.      On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
3.      Click the Offline Files tab.
4.      Select the Enable Offline Files check box, and then click OK.

I can get to step 4 of the following instructions:
Making files or folders available offline
To make shared network files or folders available when you are offline: 1.      Click Start, and then click My Computer.
2.      Click My Network Places.
3.      Double-click the network place that contains the folder or file that you want to make available offline.
4.      Right-click the file or folder that you want, and then click Make Available Offline. The Offline Files Wizard starts. Click Next to continue.

As far as the troubleshooting goes:
"Troubleshooting•      You cannot use offline files.
This can occur if the Fast User Switching feature is enabled"
I do not see any options for fast user switching - just options for advanced user management and secure logon.

I have downloaded the TechNet Support Webcast and am working my way through it.

I have not set up roaming profiles - though I have read a little about them I have not got that far in configuring things yet.
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
RobWill - I went back through the permissions for the share and added 'everyone' to 'permissions' and 'security' and gave full access.

I made sure that under caching "files or programs from the share will not be available offline" was NOT checked - it says "Only the files and programs that the user specifies will be available offline".

I then logged off and then logged back onto the laptop and tried to synchronize and the wizard starts to run but nothing actually synchronizes - I do not get the two blue arrows next to my network share.

I did noticed that the general permissions for the share and all folders are 'read only' which is indicated by a grey tick in the checkbox. I have tried to remove the read only permissions but they keep coming back. Could this be the problem? I can still create files on the share so I am not sure what the read only signifies as I can clearly 'write' to the share but cannot get rid of the read only status even using the domain admin account on the server.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
If you have a domain and your computer has joined the domain, as I assume you have, the fast user switching will no longer be available, so don't worry about that.
You have joined the computer to the domain I assume ??? You cannot use offline files with a computer that is not a member of the domain. Is your server set up as a domain, if still a workgroup it will not work either, actually same reason.

>>"I went back through the permissions for the share and added 'everyone' to 'permissions' and 'security' "
Just to confirm, under Sharing/permissions set full control, and under Security either users or everyone full control or minimum of all but the full control check box.

The read only on the folder/properties/general page, is a very deceiving attribute. Nothing to worry about, or need to change. If interested in the details you can read about it here:
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=326549
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
Yes, I have a domain and machines are logging into the domain and yes everyone has full control under permissions and security.
I will read up on the read only attribute when i get home from work tonight.
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tcmruhlandCommented:
In your offline files settings do you have the "Encrypt offline files to secure data" option checked?  I've had lots of problems synching when I used that so I would remove it at least for testing.  You may already be aware but certain files won't sync such as .mdb, .pst, and some others, but .doc, .xls, .jpg, etc will sync fine.
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
The "Encrypt offline files to secure data is not checked and i am trying to sync basic text files only so far. I am aware that certain file types do not sync - but at the moment even if i was trying to sync them I would not get the error as the process does not get that far.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
prickly, any luck yet?
If not verify the caching folder was created. It is named CSC and located in the
Windows folder. It is a hidden system folder so under the menu bar of my computer choose tools, folder options, view, and check "show hidden files and folders", and uncheck "hide protected operating system files". If there you could try reseting the offline files cache. See the following article as to how to do so:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=230738
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
Hi Robwill - no luck yet i am afraid.
I had a look at the contents of my CSC folder - when i view files from offline files in windows explorer the folder is reported as empty but when i look in the folder itself i have the following folders:

d1
d2
d3
d4
d5
d6
d7
d8

and the following files

00000001 (system file)
00000002 (system files)
csc.tmp

Is this right?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
That sounds perfect. This is getting more and more bizarre.  :-)  It's usually a 2 minutes to configure.
Have you tried the reset described above?
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
Hi Robwill - yes sorry i forgot to mention that I did do the reset described above. I'm really not sure what is wrong, I thought that it should be fairly straightforward (I have used offline files before but not set it all up myself before).
My setup is pretty basic - DSL modem to 8 port router. Router is still running DHCP and is assigning static IPs. Server has a static IP. Workstations are set to acquire an IP automatically. DNS on the server points to itself and the router. DHCP is running on the server but not really doing anything. AD is running with 2 user accounts and 2 computer accounts for the two workstations (no additional groups yet). File server is installed and managing the shares which are on a partition on the server.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Sorry, I can't think of what could be wrong. Usually:
- on the server share the folder, enable caching if you want other than the default configuration
- on the workstation enable offline files (if not on by default) on the menu bar of My Computer under Tools | Folder Options | Offline files
- then right click on the folder and choose make available offline

No chance it is in "working offline" mode ? Just to try to force, while connected enable "never allow my computer to go offline" under tools | folder options | offline files | Advanced Give it 10 minutes or so to go into effect.
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
I changed the setting to "never allow my computer to go offline" and I still have the same problem. I'm thinking at this point that I am just going to reinstall the server maybe and start from scratch as I really have no idea what the issue is. I do really appreciate all of your help though. What should i do now as far as this thread goes?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Have you tried a second PC. Would be a good test before wiping the server.

As for points, there has been no solution, so usually you post a 'question' in the community support page asking them to close the question and refund your points, where no solution was found. You will see other examples there. I have no objections to this. Sorry I was not able to help you find a solution. I am still very curious. Good luck with it.
--Rob
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
Hi Robwill, yes i have been trying all of this with two computers since i posted.  I will try a reinstall this weekend and see how i get one. Many thanks.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
If you are doing a re-install leave the thread open and let us know how it goes. Glad to help but sorry I haven't been able to provide any answers.
Good luck with it.
--Rob
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
Hi Robwill, I haven't got round to reinstalling the server this weekend as I have been playing with Vista Beta 2. I loaded it onto the laptop and later decided to log it on to the domain and tried to make the network share on the server available offline. And it worked! Sadly my Vista Beta is just a 14 day trial at the moment though. At least this lets me know that the server must be setup ok - I think I'll have to focus on reinstalling XP on the two computers in question and see how i get on from there.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Agreed if Vista worked server is probably fine.
What did you think of Vista? I have only seen demos....that blue screened. <G>
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
Vista Beta 2 is running fine on my laptop (1.6Ghz Pentium M - 512Mb RAM) and my desktop (XP2200 - 1Gb RAM - Radeon 9800 Pro 128 Mb.
I am starting to find my way round a bit and feel that the interface is improved - the start menu is like a mini 'browser' no more panels popping out all over the screen. Windows Explorer is nice and clean with breadcrums too - so you can see exactly where you are. With networking you have to authorize connection to an open network for some reason but you get other cool things like being able to ask Vista to give you a snapshot of your network - so I get a visual display of my router - gateway - wireless and two connected computers which is nice. IE is improved and tabbed.
The Sync Center? or Manager like other things is new - and i miss a progress bar telling me how my sync is going it just seems to tell you when it is done.
I have not had many issues really. It seems like it is more locked down than XP as it prompts for your Admin password to do quite a few things. So i guess this is better for allieviating spyware and viruses if the user knows what they are doing. The only time it has annoyed me so far was when i started surfing and i kept being asked for permission to install what turned out to be Flash. After the 3rd prompt I just installed it and no more prompts! lol I think that my laptop was missing one driver and windows update updated about three driver type things. On my desktop i was surprised that there were more things that Vista did not have drivers for - the most notable being my (on board) ethernet port. Thankfully i was able to install a USB wireless adapter to go to Windows Update to download my missing drivers. I think that the Aero graphics are working on the desktop but i might try the latest Ati Vista Beta drivers just in case.
I think that my boot time has been slowed by missing drivers up till now - and Vista tells me that this may have been slowing my system down.
I think that the page file is being used a bit on the laptop as there is quite a bit of hard drive activity at times - and I have not noticed this in the desktop.
Overall I am growing to like Vista the more that I use it. I think that quite a bit of thought has gone into improving the UI and I don't think there has been change for the sake of it - device manager is the same as XP for expample but Windows Explorer is improved while defragmenter is even more minimal - not showing anything at all as regards to its progress?
The sidebar i am already a fan of as I have DesktopSidebar running on XP - the Vista one does not have many gadgets so far and obviously this will change in the future.
Sadly my Beta 2 only lasts for 14 days which I am not happy about - it's growing on me more as I use it more - though I was worried about performance when I first started it installing on my laptop - it took a very long time indeed, and i was concerned that this fact would mean that it would not run well. I think it runs well even on my laptop - but a clean install with nothing in the startup and no additional software should ...
I have not seen any blue screens yet thankfully - the only real 'issues' that i have had have been trying to install a PC Card Wireless Adapter's XP drivers onto Vista - getting an error during installation resulting in a definate lack of wireless  capability.
I would say that I am quite impressed with Vista and with Office 2007 Beta 2 - adding email accounts to Outlook was by far the simplest and smoothest I have experienced - hotmail and gmail simply required my email address and password - Outlook did the rest!
I've read my fair share of good and bad about Vista and I give it a thumbsup so far - if Microsoft manage to get the pricing right (XP was far too expensive IMO) then I think people will be more prepared to take the leap. I would recommend testing out Beta 2 of Vista and Office if you get the chance - I am finding both quite nice to use.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Thanks for the report on Vista. Sounds quite nice. When I saw the demos, it was at a Microsoft seminar where the techs had just received a pre-beta version. Some features just popped up and said not yet functional. It really was just a demo of the look and feel.
As for drivers, that is one reason to wait on a new O/S, as it takes time for MS and others to build a good selection of drivers and recognition tools.
Price may or may not be a concern for you depending on the version you want. There are supposed to be 7 North American versions as well as some other stripped down versions for a few other countries. I'm not talking about languages, but rather versions. It is a bit bizarre and a nightmare for tech support.
Thanks again. And good luck on the offline files.
--Rob
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
prickly, how have yo been making out with the offline files? any luck after the re-install?
--Rob
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pricklyAuthor Commented:
I installed XP Pro on another machine and offline files works fine :-) I guess my other machine needs a reinstall.
Thanks very much for your help - its greatly appreciated.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Wonder if will ever know what was wrong with then first XP install. Glad to here it is working and you didn't have to something drastic like re-build the server.
--Rob
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CetusMODCommented:
PAQed with points refunded (125)

CetusMOD
Community Support Moderator
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